From the Green Man Tarot comes the "Hawthorn:"
Challenge opens the way.
Here in the South, we have a native hawthorn, the "mayhaw." Many people use its fruit to make delicious mayhaw jelly, but it also has some incredibly sharp thorns that fruit pickers need to be mindful of. This shrub mimics life, with its sweetness of joyful times and sharpness of the painful ones. However the hawthorn is also known for the medicinal value of its berries, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and help with chronic heart problems. I find that most of the challenges in life are challenges of the heart - how to heal its pain and overcome its fears. But even here this plant reminds me - reach with your roots and stay grounded in reality while reaching out with your arms to embrace those who will love and support you.